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Kite flying.

The most familiar large raptor around this neck of the woods is without doubt the Whistling Kite. Often seen quite far from the wetlands soaring lazily on bowed wings, and on occasions giving that distinctive call that caused them to be known as whistling eagles when I was a youngster on the farm by the river. I heard this one calling, and then had a brief opportunity for a photograph when it circled from behind the trees and drifted away upstream on the breeze.

whistling kite

Since the rain lots of grebes have appeared on the new water, Australasian and Hoary-headed, and when in the distance have presented something of a problem of identification in their eclipse plumage. The usual grebe on this billabong is the Australasian, they have bred there for the last few years, so it was a surprise to see that the couple of present residents are hoary-headed, evidenced by the dark cap extending to below the eye and the traces of streaks on the crown.

hoary-headed grebe

The avocets pictured in a previous post seem to have moved on, but there were around a hundred Black-winged Stilts working the shallows. On our way to Marlay Point we saw an enormous flock of Straw-necked Ibis coming into a flooded paddock, possibly a thousand birds, certainly the biggest flock I had ever seen. At the Landing some of the Crested Terns were in breeding plumage and looking very smart. I took a lot of video of them preening, and my only still shot was of a White-faced Heron pensively gazing lake-wards perhaps thinking of its next meal.

white-faced heron

Click to enlarge

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